The activity was of a preparatory nature and aimed to support the creation of the three specialized services for working with children in conflict and contact with the law. It was implemented by the expert, sociologist and analyst – Tihomir Bezlov, assisted by interviewers of IGA and partners from Bulgaria.
The study was aimed at two serious problems among Roma children – deviant behavior and irregular attendance at school. They are often discussed, but there is no data on how the processes have developed in recent years, although various measures have been taken by the institutions to reduce the percentage of children dropping out. However, the current study had to assess the current situation of irregular school attendance. The aim was also to identify the different types of students with problematic school attendance and the factors that influence this process, to assess which measures have proven to be effective and what new approaches can be introduced to improve the situation.
The problem with Roma children who come into conflict with the law is similar. The purpose of the study was to analyze the entire process from mild deviant manifestations to systemic conflicts with the law among children from Roma neighborhoods. The object of the study was also an assessment of the effectiveness of the institutional mechanisms that seek to correct the behavior of children who move from deviant behavior to conflict with the law.
The interviews were held with employees from relevant institutions and representatives of the Roma communities in the respective cities – teachers and principals where children from Roma neighborhoods study, school psychologists, police officers from the Child Pedagogical Rooms, employees from the territorial offices of the Social Assistance Agency, representatives of the Roma communities who work with students – mediators, support persons – and leaders from the Roma community.
The interviews were analyzed and summarized in an analytical report that was discussed in the three cities.
The final report will be presented during the closing conference at the national level.